Liverpool’s Champions League hopes suffered a huge blow as Real Madrid roar to a 3-1 victory in the first leg of their quarter-final tie in Spain.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds paid the price for an error-strewn display and now face an uphill battle to turn it around at Anfield next week.
Real dominated from the off and deservedly took the lead on 27 minutes when Vinicius Junior brilliantly chested down Toni Kroos’ raking ball over the top and fired a low strike past Alisson.
It was too easy from the visitors’ perspective, but they didn’t learn their lesson and the home team doubled their advantage nine minutes before the break.
Another high through ball from Kroos caused Trent Alexander-Arnold to panic and head straight to Marco Asensio, who coolly flicked it over Alisson and hooked in from close range.
The Merseysiders improved markedly after the break and Mohamed Salah grabbed an away goal on 51 minutes when he converted Diogo Jota’s deflected shot in off the bar.
However, Zinedine Zidane’s men restored their two-goal cushion past the hour when Vinicius Junior somehow squeezed a first-time shot from Luka Modric’s pass beyond Alisson.
Liverpool will now hope to rebuild their confidence when they host Aston Villa on Saturday prior to welcoming Madrid to Anfield next Wednesday. Real, of course, have the small matter of a home El Clasico ahead of the second leg on Merseyside.